The price of South Africa’s favourite BMWs – 30 years ago – TopAuto
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Tuesday / 26 October 2021
HomeFeaturesThe price of South Africa’s favourite BMWs – 30 years ago

The price of South Africa’s favourite BMWs – 30 years ago

1991 was a great year for the automotive industry.

It saw the release of the popular Ford Sierra and Sapphire series, the first Audi Avant S4 Quattro sports wagon, the Ford Courier bakkie (the Ranger of the 90s), the first V8 7-Series for BMW, and the Ferrari 512 TR – the second rendition of the beautiful Testarossa.

To see how much cars sold for at the time, TopAuto got a hold of a January 1991 edition of CAR Magazine and was immediately drawn to the “BMW” pages.

Even in 1991, BMW was a prominent brand in the market – and was offering the 3-Series, 5-Series, and 7-Series.

It is interesting to note that the cheapest BMW 3-Series cost just R150 less than the top-of-the-line Toyota Conquest RSi sedan, even though it was noticeably less powerful.

The BMW lineup spanned from the entry-level 316i to the range-topping 750iL – which produced 220kW out of its 5.0-litre V12 engine.

This is compared to the 448kW that the most powerful M760Li xDrive of today creates with its 6.6-litre V12 engine.

Pricing

The tables below detail how much BMWs in South Africa were sold for in 1991, along with their 2021 inflation-adjusted prices – calculated using an inflation calculator – and, for comparison, the prices of their modern-day equivalents.


3-Series

Model 1991 Price 2021 “Inflation” Price 2021 Price
316i R39,310 R252,923 R690,900 (318i)
318i R45,080 R290,048 R725,000 (320i)
320i R55,830 R359,214 R769,700 (330i)
325i R69,880 R449,613 R1,127,900 (M340i)

5-Series

Model 1991 Price 2021 “Inflation” Price 2021 Price
520i R88,500 R569,415 R981,500 (520d)
525i R109,750 R704,981 R981,500 (530i)
535i R145,950 R939,052 R1,489,100 (M550i)
M5 R199,600 R1,284,240 R2,307,800 (M5 Comp)

7-Series

Model 1991 Price 2021 “Inflation” Price 2021 Price
730i R155,940 R1,003,328 R1,939,000 (740Li)
735i R188,520 R1,212,950 R2,544,700 (750Li)
750iL R305,300 R1,964,320 R3,315,500 (M760Li)

CAR Magazine – January 1991


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